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One of the things I ponder occasionally is, what does it mean to have “Faith”? When I was growing up, the people of faith that I truly admired were the highly intelligent people, the guys with PhDs in science, who also believed in God: people like Sir John Polkinghorne, former Professor of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge, who later in life became an Anglican priest and wrote several books on the connection between faith and science.

Because of people like Sir John, faith for me was never about switching off your brain, for example by praying that you won’t be hit by a car as you cross Hackney Road in the wrong spot with your eyes closed. That’s not an example of Christian faith!

Faith is about trusting that God truly wants to bless us. Sometimes, though, you just have to push through the tough times.

I’m not a surfer, but I imagine there are some days, beautiful days, when you manage to catch the perfect wave, and you stand up on the board, and feel the wind on your face as you ride the waves towards the shore. I get why people surf. But then there are those moments when you’re being hit and smashed by the waves, and it’s all you can do to hang on to the board.

Sometimes faith is just about hanging in there, hanging on to the surf board, but knowing that it will get better. When I was in Year 11 – that was the tough year for me – there were some days when I was just hanging on to the board; but it got better, it got a lot better, and that’s what faith is about.

The Reverend Dr Theo McCall
School Chaplain